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- What is Lightroom used for?
- Importing photos and videos
- Organizing your library with collections
- Adding keywords and ratings to photos
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Adjusting color and white balance
- Reducing digital noise
- Working with video
- Making changes with the Adjustment Brush and Graduated Filter tools
- Sharing photos on Facebook
- Printing photos
Skill Level Beginner
Importing photos into Lightroom from a camera's memory card is really similar to importing photos that you're storing on your drive, which I covered in the last couple of movies. But there are a couple of things that are different, so let me walk you through this process of importing photos from a camera's memory card. As soon as you plug a card reader with a memory card into your computer, Lightroom's Import window may pop up. That doesn't always happen depending on your memory card and your card reader. So if it doesn't, then in Lightroom's Library, go up to the File menu and choose Import Photos and Videos and that will open this Import window.
This is the same window that we saw in the last movie. I'll start working in this window over on the left, choosing the source from which I'm going to import these photos. By default, Lightroom will recognize the card reader and will choose that, but if I happen to have more than one similar device plugged into my computer, I can choose among them from this menu. The source will be highlighted here, and I like to keep Eject After Import checked so that after the import process is done, Lightroom will automatically eject my card so I don't have to worry about disconnecting the card reader and harming the card.
Here in the center of the Import window, you can see thumbnails of all of the photos and videos on the card. I can view those in different ways. This is the Grid view, and then there's a Loupe view, which will allow me to zoom in to see one photo larger. Over here I can change the sort order of the thumbnails, and here I can change the size of the thumbnails. Dragging to the right makes them a little bit bigger. And then I have a scrollbar so I can scroll to see just the ones that I want. Notice that most of these photos have a check mark next to them. and that means that they'll all come in when I import.
But often there are files that are just mistakes, like these couple of blank files here, so I may as well uncheck those so they won't be imported. There are times when you won't want to bring all the photos of a card. Maybe I just want to select a few to bring in. In that case, I'll click the Uncheck All button. And then I could just check a couple of checkboxes to bring a few photos in or--and this is more efficient--I could select one of the photos that I want and then if there are others next to it that I want as well, I'll hold the Shift key and click on one over here and that selects all in between.
And then if I want to add some non- adjacent photos to this selection, I'll hold the Command key, that's the Control key on Windows, and click on a few other photos. So notice I'm not clicking on check boxes; I'm selecting photos. Now, if I click the check box on any one of those, that checks all of the other selected photos. And I'll click on a different photo so you can see that even though these aren't selected, they are going to come in because they have their boxes checked. Now here's something that's different than from bringing photos in from your drive, and that is what you're going to tell Lightroom to do with these photos.
When you bring photos off of a camera's memory card, you're not only going to import information about them into Lightroom, as I showed you in the last movie for photos on your drive; you're also going to copy the photos off the memory card. So here you don't have the option to add, you don't have the option to move; the only options you have are to copy the files or at the same time you're copying, convert them to the DNG format. Well these are JPEGs so that's not really relevant, so I'm just going to choose Copy here. Next I'll come over to the column on the right where I'll chose the destination for the files on my hard drive.
You can see the default path to which Lightroom is going to import these files, and that is My Pictures folder. I can get more specific about exactly where the files are going to go by clicking this double pointed arrow and from here, I can choose other destination. And then in my operating system window, I can navigate to exactly the folder in which I want to put these files. As I explained in the last couple of movies, I'm keeping all of my files, the ones on my hard drive and now the ones I'm importing from my camera, in a folder that I call Lightroom Photos Main.
And I happen to be storing that in My Pictures folder. And inside that Lightroom Photos Main folder, I have a subfolder for each year. So I could select the year in which these photos were taken. This is a really old card that I found in a drawer, and this photos were actually taken in 2008. So, I could select that and then click Choose. And you can see that the path has changed. If I scroll down to the Destination panel, you can say exactly where the photos are going to go: in the 2008 folder, in My Lightroom Photos Main folder.
I can get even more granular though. If I want to create a subfolder in the 2008 folder at the same time that I'm importing these files, I can do that. And to do that, I would check into the subfolder, I would enter a name for that subfolder. And my name in convention is to put the year first, then the month, and then the day, and then to add a word or two about the subject. Now, this is important: you have an option here to have Lightroom create subfolders by date. But that can get really confusing, so I recommend against that and instead, I'll set that organized to into one folder.
And now you can see down here in the destination panel that Lightroom is going to create a new subfolder for me inside the 2008 folder called 2008-10-08 cars. And this is the one where these photos are going to land. I'm going to scroll up to show you a couple of more settings here. As I explained in the last movie, from the Render Previews Field, I'll specify the kind of previews that I want Lightroom to create for me as it's importing these photos. The fastest import choice here is Minimal so I'll choose that. And because I have Don't Import Suspected Duplicates checked, this photo right here is grayed out.
And so it won't be imported. If I uncheck that, you can see that that photo is available to be imported. But I don't want duplicates of photos on my catalog so I'll leave that checked. If I have an external drive on which I archive my original photos attached to my computer, then it's a good idea to have Lightroom automatically make a second copy of all of my photos to that external drive, And then I'll put that on the shelf and I won't touch it and just in case, I'll have another copy of all the originals of my photos. I don't like to change the names of my photos at this stage.
I may do that later in the game, but for now, I'll leave Rename Files unchecked. But if you like to do that, you can check here and then choose a file-naming algorithm from this menu. This panel, Apply During Import, offers some options that you can apply to all the photos that you're importing. One of those is to apply developed presets. The default here is None, but sometimes you may want all the photos you're importing to have a particular look. For example, you may want them all to be a particular flavor of black and white or a particular kind of tone.
So in those cases, you might choose a preset to apply to all the photos that you're bringing in. I'm going to choose None for now. I am going to make a choice from the Metadata panel. I like to apply my copyright to all photos when I import them into Lightroom and then I don't have to worry about that later. I'll click on this Metadata field to do that, and here I have a preset for all photos that I've shot in 2011, but I don't have a preset for 2008. This particular card is one I found in a drawer and it's got really old photos on it, so I want to apply my copyright for the year 2008.
I'll make a new preset for that purpose by choosing New. That opens the New Metadata Preset window where I'm going to type a title for this preset, Kabili2008, and then I'll come down to the Copyright section. Because these two fields are activated from the last preset that I made, you can see that the headings are red over here. In the Copyright section, I'm going to hold down the Option key on my keyboard as I press G and on the PC, I would hold down the Alt key as I press on the numeric keypad 0, 1, 6, 9.
And then I'll type Kabili and 2008. And I'll change the Copyright status to Copyrighted. I'll scroll down and I'll type my name in the Creator field. There are other options I could fill out here. For example, if I wanted to apply captions to all these photos upon import, I could include a caption in this preset, but I like to keep this really general and just limit it to copyright, so I'll click Create. And now I have that metadata preset that will be applied to all the photos I'm importing now, and in the future I'll be able to choose that same preset from this menu if I happen to import other photos that I shot in 2008.
Later in the course, we'll be talking about keyword tags, which are subject matter tags that you can apply to photos, and then later you can search for those photos via that keyword. When I'm importing photos off a camera's memory card, they're often of different subjects so sometimes there just aren't keywords that apply to all of them. But in this case, I'm only importing photos of cars, so I'll click here and I'll type "cars" and press Enter or Return. So, now I'm finished choosing all the options with which I'm going to import the photos off this camera memory card, and it's time to come down and click the Import button.
That takes me back to Lightroom's library, and up here is the progress bar as Lightroom copies the photos from my memory card into the destination on the computer that I specified in the Import window and brings information about those files into my Lightroom catalog. And now, down here in the Folders panel, in the Library module, you can see where all these photos are located, in the sub-folder 2008-10-08 cars. So that's a walkthrough of how to import photos and video files from your camera's memory card into Lightroom 4.